Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson met with the media today and said he hasn’t had too many problems learning the names of the new players he’s been working with – at least not the defensive ones. He joked that he’s still learning some of the offensive guys.
Here are some quick hits from the veteran coach:
– Johnson called Mark Anderson a “true professional. He was called on late to come into the ballgame (against Jacksonville); I’m sure he wanted to come in earlier, but that’s how preseason goes sometimes. His first time on a football field (with the Pats), he made a difference. He looked good.”
– Of Albert Haynesworth, he said, “I think he’s excited about being here, playing football. He is…very unlike a lot of what you read about him. I coach whoever comes in here, it don’t matter to me, but Albert is a great person. You need to know both sides of the story. …He’s trying to work his way onto the field; he has been tremendous in the classroom.”
– Asked what the biggest challenge is of dealing with so many linemen and so many new faces, Johnson quickly said “Bill Belichick” because the coach is demanding and has high standards.
– Johnson said he was “stunned” by the recent events involving his former teammate Corwin Brown. “My son called me; he remembers playing chess with Corwin and Corwin is the only guy that didn’t try to cheat him. …My blessings go out to him and his family.”